The Brief: Pro-Biden memes encapsulate a wide range of opinions, perspectives, formats, and styles related to reasons to vote for Biden/Harris in the 2020 presidential election.
Memes that show support for former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election come from individual supporters, online communities, political groups, and the Bidens themselves. Pro-Biden memes appeal to a variety of audiences, showing off Biden’s strengths as a candidate and the reasons that Americans should vote for him over his opponent Donald Trump. These include Obama and Biden memes that date back to Obama’s presidency, Gen Z-led meme coalitions, anti-Trump Republican PACS, an independent beauty brand, Facebook groups run by suburban women, and more.
During Barack Obama’s presidency, memes of Obama and his VP Biden enjoying their so-called bromance were popular online. These image macros typically depicted Joe Biden as a cool and goofy sidekick to President Obama. Such memes have been revived in 2020, highlighting the friendship between the two and depicting Biden as a friendly and silly figure.
As it became clear that Joe Biden would become the Democratic nominee, a group of young supporters of Bernie Sanders and other progressive candidates started the “Settle For Biden” movement on social media. This grassroots effort is unaffiliated with the official Biden campaign and aims to speak specifically to young voters who aren’t too jazzed about Joe, but will vote for him anyway as they see him as the strongest candidate in the race.
Throughout the race, memes of Joe Biden have gone viral online including screenshots of his “would you shut up, man” remark from the first Presidential debate. Although some memes that use this line have nothing to do with the race itself, it’s an effective and relevant clapback to use against Trump and his supporters.
The Lincoln Project is a Republican-led super PAC that aims to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump and thus support Biden in the 2020 election. This group has a strong social media presence and frequently employs trolling and meme tactics to take shots at Trump.
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 20, 2020
Although young people are typically at the center of meme production, Facebook is a platform for older Biden fans to rally around his candidacy. The group Suburban Housewives For Biden/Harris aims to counter some of the Trump campaign’s narratives about their voter demographic. Another group, JoeMamas, provides space for moms for Biden to share memes, articles, and support for the Biden/Harris ticket.
At the time of writing, videos associated with the hashtag #Biden2020 have been viewed over 3.9 million times on TikTok. Groups of Gen Z TikTokers are collaborating to create content encouraging viewers to vote for Biden/Harris, using humor, classic TikTok video styles, and appealing to the things that young people value most. TikTokers are changing their profile pictures en masse to an image that reads “Gen Z For Biden.” The collective “TikTok For Biden” has over 766,000 followers on its main account and a network of TikTokers who create pro-Biden video and meme content.
please register to vote. please ask questions. please make the right decision. dc: @anania00
The Biden campaign’s social media strategy has included leaning into memes and in-jokes about the former Vice President. One common topic is his well-documented love of ice cream.
It’s debate night, so I’ve got my earpiece and performance enhancers ready. pic.twitter.com/EhOiWdjh1b
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 29, 2020
When a fly sat on Mike Pence’s head for minutes during a Vice Presidential debate with Senator Kamala Harris, the Biden campaign quickly jumped on the meme, tweeting jokes and even selling referential fly swatters.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 8, 2020
Jill Biden posted her own version of the how it started/how it’s going meme of October 2020:
How it started: How it's going: pic.twitter.com/8IiIHfXCn0
— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) October 12, 2020
The breadth of opinions and content online means that there is no monolithic meme strategy for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Memes showing support for a Biden/Harris presidency come from people of various political beliefs, ages, locations, meme-styles, and followings on every major social media platform.